* Posts by Warm Braw

1717 posts • joined 6 Sep 2013

I want to buy a coffee with an app – how hard can it be?

Warm Braw
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Re: Try travelling with First Bus and their (cr)app

One of our local bus companies offers an inexplicably massive app for Android that seems less designed to sell tickets and more focussed on providing some kind of social media experience, which seems to be its excuse for requesting every possible permission available.

Meanwhile, the bus company doesn't offer any form of integrated ticketing (you can't get a through ticket even if there's a connecting bus run by the same operator) - despite the buses all having NFC and QR code readers. You can even get a card that looks a lot like a pre-pay Oyster card, but you can only use it to pay for point-to-point fares at their full cost, so if you have a debit card, it's entirely pointless.

Don't underestimate the power of business to harness technology to make your life more complicated for no obvious benefit to anyone.

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'Men only' job ad posts land Facebook in boiling hot water with ACLU

Warm Braw
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There is no place for discrimination on Facebook

True; it's equally vile wherever you look.

For all Facebook's faults, however, this isn't a new phenomenon. Employers have always targeted advertisements - knowingly or unknowingly - by the choice of publication in which those advertisements were placed.

More interesting is that potential employers continue to believe they have any meaningful influence over the suitability of the candidates they eventually hire. Many selection techniques pick the "right" candidate less than 50% of the time*. The most commonly used (the unstructured interview) delivers a good candidate around 31% of the time. So the arguments about whether any form of discrimination is "justified" are pretty much futile. As long as you can get some evidence that people have approximately the right skill set, you might as well just pick them at random unless it's the kind of job for which it's worth putting people through a rigorous assessment centre process (where you can get the likelihood of a good hire up to 68%).

*Fundamentals of Human Resource Management: Managing People at Work

By Derek Torrington, Stephen Taylor

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Trump pulls trigger in US-China tit-for-tat tariff tiff: 10% slapped on $200bn of imported kit

Warm Braw
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Re: In trade

they pirate

Given today's date, perhaps someone can advise me on which of the following is correct?

1/ At least wooden legs still be tariff-free!

or

2/ At least wooden legs arrrrrrrrrrrrrre still tariff-free!

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Scrapping UK visa cap on nurses, doctors opened Britain's doors to IT workers

Warm Braw
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Re: UK IT shortage

I think the plan is to replace the people who work in IT-related posts with IT.

Like most political initiatives, Brexit is hoping to solve yesterday's problem. Globalisation has moved on from moving people and goods around, it's now all about eliminating people and goods from the picture to the fullest extent possible - apart from those necessary to keep the people with the money in their opulent, disease-free, New Zealand bunkers.

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Microsoft pulls plug on IPv6-only Wi-Fi network over borked VPN fears

Warm Braw
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Re: @ITS Retired - Welcome to the real world, MS

it's as backwards compatible with v4 as it is possible to be

One of the interesting (if now entirely academic) lessons of the DECnet Phase V debacle is that technical backwards compatibility per se turned out not to be a major driver of take-up. Phase V implementations supported both Phase IV and Phase V, allowed local subnetworks and the interconnecting backbone to be in different phases and provided triggers that could automatically flip parts of the network over as migration proceeded. It ought to have been a trivial exercise.

However, by the time it was deployed, Phase IV addresses had already run out in the networks at which Phase V was targeted and proxy servers (a kind of alternative to NAT) were in widespread use. Unpicking those turned out to be more complicated than transitioning the core network and it turned out that migrating to IP wasn't a great deal harder.

The saving grace for IPv6 is that there isn't any obvious alternative, apart from more NAT, so perhaps we might get there eventually.

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Warm Braw
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Re: Catch 22

running out of IPv4 addresses

... has been a compelling emergency for over 20 years now. "Oh, wait" seems to be the problem...

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Do not adjust your set, er, browser: This is our new page-one design

Warm Braw
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Curious transient scrolling behaviour

I've just got very annoyed by something, but it immediately stopped happening, so I applaud you for the level of behavioural insight you have built into your pages, though I suspect it wasn't intentional!

Browsing on a desktop with a landscape screen, the most prominent news items at the top of the home page remained anchored in position when scrolling down the page. This is particularly tedious as the DK-inspired surfeit of white space already reduces the amount of screen estate available for actually seeing content: there's no need to put even more of it out of my control. However, having found this page to report my annoyance, I can't make it happen again. So, hope it was just a one-off!

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UK.gov isn't ready for no-deal Brexit – and 'secrecy' means businesses won't be either

Warm Braw
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Re: Anyone else being asked by agencies ...

I'm frantically researching my Irish heritage

You are at least still entitled to an Irish bank account and the Common Travel Area means you can move there and take advantage of the health care system, even if only temporarily (check out the rents in Dublin...). Even if there is a "hard" Brexit, you should still be able to travel from the UK to Belfast and cross the border (either officially or otherwise) and thence to the continent and beyond.

So even if there is no UK-Europe transport and there are emergency exchange controls, there is an escape route if you are prepared!

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How an augmented reality tourist guide tried to break my balls

Warm Braw
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Re: "I had a meeting in Norwich (someone has to)."

Tablets have been around at least since Moses!!!

Perhaps he meant that his balls were of recent descent?

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Warm Braw
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Who'd invest in such crap?

I found myself asking that question when I went to view Stephenson's Rocket at the Almost-imperceptible Exhibition of the North. Clearly concerned that visitors might not be sufficiently impressed by the skeletal remains of a piece of engineering history, long since cannibalised for its reusable parts, organisers had provided a "Virtual Reality Experience" that promised the opportunity to:

Travel back to 1829 via virtual reality to experience the sight and sound of the early steam age as Stephenson’s Rocket is digitally brought back to life.

What is actually consisted of was a first-person view of a simulated trip down a seemingly American railroad line, while a modern city sprang up on each side of the track. With a silhouette of the Rocket pasted across the front as if it were being observed by a disembodied head welded to the top of the boiler.

When I pointed that out to the attendants, their response was that, although they'd watched it on several occasions, they'd never noticed the complete absence of the 19th Century or the UK and its tradition of trains travelling on the left, like the cars.

Conclusion: people expect crap, so just give it to them. Fortunately, it doesn't seem to be the policy of the Discovery Museum to thwack 'em in the balls if they complain, though I would be unsurprised if the hardware has the capability: I'm sure more clients will be demanding it.

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Linux kernel's Torvalds: 'I am truly sorry' for my 'unprofessional' rants, I need a break to get help

Warm Braw
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I blame the source code management...

Typing "git" constantly can't to anything for the civility of your general demeanour.

Perhaps it could be rebranded "pet" or "luv"?

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Trump shouldn't criticise the news media, says Amazon's Jeff Bezos

Warm Braw
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Amazon have the most unpleasant press office in journalism

At least they speak to you. Apple, however...

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UK.gov finally adds Galileo and Copernicus to the Brexit divorce bill

Warm Braw
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I think you can be pretty sure that there won't be another ISS-like project. It was conceived at a time when it was thought that post-Soviet Russia intended to follow a Western model of government and that such projects could help cement that position. Well, it was probably worth a try...

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Warm Braw
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Re: The punishment beating will continue

One of the many things I don't understand is why, having chosen to leave the EU, the people who advocated leaving are choosing to characterise the consequences of leaving as "punishment". This is what we asked for and it seems to be what we're getting. Why isn't that being welcomed by those who wanted it most?

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Warm Braw
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Re: TL;DR

demanding more votes until the "correct" result is returned is unreasonable

By that logic, we might as well not have elections at all and stick with the government we've got for ever more. Mind you, given that both the present government and opposition are essentially so riven by internal divisions as to be completely ineffective, I can see the merit in your proposition.

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UK.gov tells companies to draft contracts for data flows just in case they screw up Brexit

Warm Braw
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It would greenlight the transfer of UK data to other member states

Well, it would then seem that the simplest way to achieve legal certainty is to do that ASAP.

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Top Euro court: UK's former snooping regime breached human rights

Warm Braw
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Re: Yeah, as expected. And they knew what they were doing when they broke the law.

they knew what they were doing when they broke the law

That's why they keep changing it, it's much harder to bring down a moving target.

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The grand-plus iPhone is the new normal – this is no place for paupers

Warm Braw
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Re: Typical Apple

You can't compare them

You can: they both perform a basic primary function at a cost orders of magnitude greater than is necessitated by their purpose. Why they cost more is irrelevant. The reason people pay the increased cost is much the same.

If you keep you Rolex serviced...

...you will merely add to its inflated lifetime cost.

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Guess who just bought Maplin? Dragons' Den celebrity biz guy Peter Jones

Warm Braw
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Re: "extensive" customer data

I think the default approach to "informed consent" was to ask the customer for their email address at the till. If they had the temerity to ask why, they'd be told "so we can send you discount vouchers".

Given how much good this data did Maplin in the end, you'd wonder why anyone would want it.

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Apple in XS new sensation: Latest iPhone carries XS-sive price tag

Warm Braw
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Re: Yawn....

a pocket device

Increasingly hard on the pocket in more than one sense...

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First it was hashtags – now Amber Rudd gives us Brits knowledge on national ID cards

Warm Braw
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Our first duty is to keep people safe

I'm very tired of that old chestnut - the best way to achieve that would be to lock us all up for our own protection.

And given that successive British governments have covered up renditions, torture, extra-judicial killings, undercover police malpractice whilst simultaneously crying "nanny state" whenever there is an attempt to deal with alcohol abuse, smoking or obesity, politicians clearly don't believe it either.

Maybe they should lock themselves up for our own protection.

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It's here! Qualcomm's new watch chip is finally here! Oh, uh, never mind

Warm Braw
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How many of you and your friends exercise?

I realise I'm a data point of exactly one - and not, as far as I know, a friend of the original poster, but I exercise and don't have any kind of fad-device, in much the same way as I've exercised for the last 50-odd years. I can exercise perfectly well without knowing my exact heart rate, having an inaccurate assessment of the number of steps I might have taken or needing to plot my run or ride on a map.

Having a "fitness" device seems to serve the same "need" as taking pictures of your lunch...

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Arms race: SiFive, Hex Five build code safe houses for RISC-V chips

Warm Braw
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If someone said "yes", could you believe the answer?

Not that a "secure enclave" is necessarily something to fear, any more than a DMA controller (which could just as easily be exfiltrating your data) is inherently something to fear - but basically, if someone other than you has control of the hardware design, then what they "allow you to know" is very much at their discretion.

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Microsoft's next Windows 10 release creeps closer with a cluster of builds

Warm Braw
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Re: @warmbraw

That's certainly the theory! However...

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Warm Braw
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Re: I was syncing and sending SMS from my PC circa 2001...

There are several applications that claim to do that for Linux - can't seem to get any of them to work over bluetooth on Ubuntu LTS. A long time ago I had a simple problem with MacOS that would support some phones, but not others. I suppose having the cloud in the middle solves the problem of buggy local communication - while adding dollops of slurp potential for good measure.

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Boffins bash Google Translate for sexism

Warm Braw
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Re: It's statistics darling

If you use the terminology machine learning algorithm, it's not a surprise. When it gets labelled artificial intelligence there's somehow an increased tendency to assume, erroneously, that the results will be free of human bias. There does seem to be an enthusiasm right now to over-sell the capabilities of machine learning.

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$200bn? Make that $467bn: Trump threatens to balloon proposed bonus China tech tariffs

Warm Braw
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What's wrong in finding a nice comfy niche

In theory, it's exactly what you want - sustainable businesses generating steady income. However, income is taxed differently to capital growth, so it's exactly the opposite of the incentives.

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Tesla's chief accounting officer drives off after just a month on the job

Warm Braw
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Re: The product is strong, and the vision is excellent

Still compares well to $80-ish

67% of $80 is around $54 and is the amount of current tax that needs to be replaced. Add that to your $12 recharge and you get $66, not $36...

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Y'know what? VoIP can also be free from pesky regulation – US judges

Warm Braw
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I think that's just the flip side of "but over the Internet" patents: if the service to the end user is essentially the same, the specific technology should not be an isssue. Regulation of the phone service survived the demise of Strowger exchanges and the introduction of fibre trunk connections; adding some packet-switching is a fairly trivial difference by comparison. If you're selling it as a phone service, it's a phone service.

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Microsoft tells volume customers they can stay on Windows 7... for a bit longer... for a fee

Warm Braw
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Re: Divorcing Microsoft

privacy-raping at OS level

Having just acquired a new Windows 10 laptop (on which Windows 7 won't easily run), it's the bloody patronising advertising that I find most annoying - "helpful" suggestions, presumably paid for, turning up in the start menu for software I don't want & blandishments about registering for "Microsoft Rewards" on the lock screen. These can all be turned off, with a myriad of different controls in different places, though the control to disable Cortana is now gone (apart from the registry hack). Except the day after I did, the major update to the factory image finally downloaded, occupied a vast amount of disk space and turned back on everything I'd turned off.

It's not an OS any longer - a way for you to run application software on your computer. It's a platform to allow application software to run you, once you've been beaten into dumbed-down submission. I don't want it. Nobody over the age of 12 could possibly want it.

I'll also be moving to Windows 7 in a server VM for legacy applications and Linux on the laptop where RDP will offer the occasional backward glance.

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'World's favorite airline' favorite among hackers: British Airways site, app hacked for two weeks

Warm Braw
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Revolut

On the other hand, they don't (currenty) have a banking licence or FSCS protection.

Useful article on protection and customer services issues with e-money firms here.

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Strewth! Aussie ISP gets eye-watering IPv4 bill, shifts to IPv6 addresses

Warm Braw
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Re: Another IPV6 article which exposes issues with IPV6

What more do you want?

As I understand it, NAT64 provides a means for a host with an IPv6 stack to communicate with legacy IPv4-only hosts by means of a gateway. I gave up trying to pin down the shifting sands of IPv6 migration some time ago, so please correct me if any of the following is untrue regarding NAT64.

1/ it needs a specific form of address allocation for the local IPv6 network, the host needs to "know" when to embed IPv4 addresses in IPv6 packets and the gateway has to "know" what to do with them so it effectively adds a third mode of operation (IPv4, IPv6 and IPv4 in IPv6).

2/ It does nothing for the problem of IPv4-only hosts (either legacy systems or system sitting behind an IPv4 ISP) that want to communicate with IPv6-only systems, which would seem potentially to be a significantly greater number.

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Lyon for speed, San Francisco for money, Amsterdam for fun: the best cities to be a techie

Warm Braw
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Why is it always Vienna?

Dunno. It means nothing to me...

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Huawei's Alexa-powered AI Cube wants to squat in your living room too

Warm Braw
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Re: Errm...

The panaudicon solution to the "problem" of end-to-end encryption?

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Space station springs a leak while astronauts are asleep (but don't panic)

Warm Braw
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Re: Then they're hurt or killed

Aren't you thinking of Fourecks?

Not sure if XXXX sells in Germany owing to the cultural power of the Reinheitsgebot, but if it did, I wonder if they'd use square cans.

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Golden State passes gold-standard net neutrality bill by 58-17

Warm Braw
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Social liberalism and economic liberalism are very different things.

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Warm Braw
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Re: no surprise

On the other hand, it would prevent ISPs charging extra for the timely transport of capital letters.

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A decade on, Apple and Google's 30% app store cut looks pretty cheesy

Warm Braw
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30% of paid for content also covers the cost of Apple/Google distributing free content

They wouldn't have to distribute free content if they allowed other people to do it (the famously permissive Apple) or didn't make it a scary "untrusted" process (the famously trustworthy Google).

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Huawei elbows aside Apple to claim number-two phone maker spot

Warm Braw
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There's noticeable value ... upgrading from a $200 or $300 smartphone

No value that I've noticed.

I've just replaced an old Moto G (which was about £120 a few year back) with an Honor 9 Lite (£140) and I couldn't see any value at all in spending any more money. I'd need some considerable persuasion to be convinced that a £900 phone offered me a more-than-sixfold increase in utility.

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AI image recognition systems can be tricked by copying and pasting random objects

Warm Braw
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It cannot infer context

Indeed.

And what would seem to be the biggest problem is that you can't selectively untrain parts of the model, as far as I'm aware. If there's an irrelevant feature in the source images that happens accidentally to correlate with the presence of another feature then the model is always going to have a correlation bias and even if you detect it (which often you won't), you can't get rid of it without retraining the entire model from source images from which the irrelevant feature has been removed.

That alone should be sufficient to refute the claim that "intelligence" of any form is in play here.

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Cobbler feels the shoe-leather: An IP address is still not a human

Warm Braw
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Re: what’s with Adam Sandler?

a drive-in movie theater

Can't you drive out?

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Smut slinger dreams of AI software to create hardcore flicks with your face – plus other machine-learning news

Warm Braw
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Replace that real tumor by some extrapolated healthy tissue

I hope they don't get their technologies confused. The last thing* anyone wants is to take home a copy of their MRI to find it's a video of their diseased pancreas banging a pneumatic porn star.

*There will be Rule 34 exceptions.

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Surprise! VAT, customs likely to get a bit trickier in a Brexit no-deal world

Warm Braw
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Possibly engaging a customs broker

If the volume of export declarations is going to increase by roughly a factor of 5, you'll have to marry one - and soon.

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Tax the tech giants and ISPs until the bits squeak – Corbyn

Warm Braw
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Independent journalism

Says the man who took part in a staged "interview" with an actress whose support for Corbyn is so democratically balanced that she said in The Guardian:

Terrible thing to say. But we need a coup!

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Ex-UK comms minister's constituents plagued by wonky broadband over ... wireless radio link?

Warm Braw
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Heat and wooden poles don't mix

Promises of warp speed service were clearly open to misinterpretation.

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UK.gov agencies told to drop fancy tech or risk 'reinventing the wheel'

Warm Braw
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Several departments are investigating ... AI

Perhaps they could begin with small steps and try some real intelligence first?

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Et tu, Brute? Then fail, Caesars: When it's hotel staff, not the hackers, invading folks' privacy

Warm Braw
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Re: Staff cost reductions maid

bet they're cheaper

Probably cheaper than maids-a-milking whose number is strictly limited and who are to be found only for a short time each year.

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Warm Braw
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Re: "Et tu Bruté"

Be insured

Toujours de bons conseils

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Warm Braw
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I reached much the same conclusion from watching an episode of CSI! I assume it's not the history of Mob corruption and violence, the 171 murders (excluding the 58 in the mass shooting) of 2017, the brutal climate, the permanent twilight of the casinos or the fact the entire town only exists to separate people from their money that makes it such a desirable destination. Because, if it is, DEF CON might as well pack up and go home: humanity has chosen a different path.

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Beam me up, PM: Digital secretary expected to give Tory conference speech as hologram

Warm Braw
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If they're going to employ technology...

... this is the way to enliven the message!

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